Symphony Clean Bandit & Zara Larsson
14 January 2015, 18:14
A former girlfriend of Ian Watkins has been cleared of charges relating to indecent images of children.
Joanne Mjadzelics always denied the allegations.
The 39-year-old said she had the photos of child abuse to bring the former Welsh Rockstar to justice.
After more than 14 hours of deliberations, the jury at Cardiff Crown Court cleared her of four counts of possessing indecent images of a child, one of inciting Watkins to send her illegal photographs and two of sending pictures to Watkins.
The court heard that Mjadzelics embarked on a three-year campaign to try and bring Watkins to justice.
Watkins was handed a 35-year sentence for a string of sexual offences - including the attempted rape of a baby.
Two female accomplices were also given lengthy prison terms as well. Mjadzelics said she was prepared to go to extraordinary lengths to entrap the disgraced singer after saying her complaints about him were not taken seriously by police.
Mjadzelics wept after being told by Judge Eleri Rees she was free to go. She spoke outside court:
"It's been me against the world, really. Me protecting the kids when everyone else called me liar, psycho - everything else - lie after lie.
"Let's just see how many kids could have been saved if the police had done their job.
"I've nothing to say to the police. This was a vicious prosecution.''
Her solicitor Dale Harris said the jury's verdict confirmed his client had a legitimate reason for her actions.
"This was a spiteful prosecution of a woman who, over a four-year period, single-handedly and doggedly pursued a campaign to force the sleeping authorities to wake up to the reality of the appalling crimes against children she feared Ian Watkins was committing.
"In December 2008, Ms Mjadzelics first reported Watkins to both South Wales Police and to social services.
"But instead of taking her claims seriously, the police rejected them and dismissed her allegations as those of a disguntled ex-partner with mental health issues. "The initial flawed inquiry infected every subsequent report she made to the police.''
Deputy Chief Constable for South Wales Police, Matt Jukes, said:
"We respect the decision of the court today.
"The safeguarding of vulnerable people and children remains our priority and it is right and proper for us to take evidence of this nature to the Crown Prosecution Service, who then make the final decision whether it should go before the courts.
"Operation Globe has been an extremely complex and challenging investigation. This continues to involve the unprecedented use of technology and work with a range of UK and international agencies. This investigation is still continuing and we will work tirelessly to identify victims and help them seek the justice they deserve.
"During the trial , police actions prior to the most recent investigation were discussed. In 2012 South Wales Police initiated its own review into the sequence of events prior to the arrest of Ian Watkins. We identified that there were issues of concern and voluntarily referred the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission who is currently carrying out an investigation into these issues.
"We are committed to reviewing cases in this way and have already completed further reviews into supervision within public protection and our intelligence processes to improve our identification of risk."
Catrin Attwell, Senior Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service Cymru-Wales Complex Casework Unit, said:
"The full circumstances surrounding this case have been aired in court. The jury considered the matter for a considerable period of time and found Joanne Mjadzelics not guilty of the possession and distribution of indecent images of children. We of course respect that decision.
"Our role is to consider the evidence gathered by police investigations and decide whether there is a realistic prospect of a conviction in court. When making charging decisions, we are required to comply with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, which sets out the evidential and public interest test that criminal cases need to meet.
"It should be noted that any decision by the CPS does not imply any finding concerning guilt or criminal conduct; the CPS makes decisions only according to the test set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors and it is applied in all decisions on whether or not to prosecute. A jury is required to evaluate evidence to a different standard; in order to convict a defendant they must be convinced beyond reasonable doubt of that person's guilt. "Given the ongoing Independent Police Complaints Commission Investigation relating to complaints made by Ms Mjadzelics, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time."